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Pocket Sand
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Castroneves reclaims top spot in day 2 of IndyCar testing at Sebring - Racer.com

Helio Castroneves led a Team Penske sweep of the three fastest laps Tuesday during a windswept second session on the second day of IndyCar testing at Sebring International Raceway.
The three Penske Dallara-Chevrolets were separated by just 0.0659sec around Sebring's 10-turn, 1.67-mile short course. Chevy maintained its slight edge over Honda in the early stages of testing for the IZOD IndyCar Series' new chassis/engine combination, sweeping the first four positions of the 10 cars participating.
Castroneves recorded a lap of 52.1413sec in the No. 3 Team Penske DW12, almost half a second faster than the best lap Monday. But it was Team Penske's sweep of the first three positions in its final run that was as telling as the fastest lap.
“You never know what people are running – whether they're running full tanks or not,” said Penske's Will Power, who had the second-fastest lap of the session. “This track is a strange circuit, and everyone is usually separated by such a small margin here. It's always good to be quickest. If you were a half-second off, you'd be scratching your head. It is kind of important to be in the ballpark.”
Power had to miss the morning session because of a fire he helped extinguish Monday. He encountered a similar fire at the end of Tuesday's afternoon session, but let others handle it.
“I didn't (put it out myself),” Power said. “I jumped out and ran away.”
Power's lap of 52.2059sec in the No. 12 Verizon Penske entry was just 0.0013sec faster than Ryan Briscoe's best effort in the No. 2 IZOD-liveried DW12.
“It's good to find limits here and know what we've got,” Power said. “We're understanding and studying what we've got.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had the fastest lap Monday, was fourth best Tuesday in the No. 28 Andretti Autosport Chevy-powered Dallara. Simon Pagenaud was once again the fastest Honda of the session, fifth best at 52.4698 in the No. 77 Schmidt/Hamilton Motorsports entry.
“You can tell the Chevy and the Honda are really, really close,” Pagenaud said. “We ran together with Will and Ryan, and it's going to be close. When it comes down to qualifying (at St. Pete), we'll see who's strongest.”
Simona de Silvestro, driving the only Lotus in the Monday-Tuesday group, improved her lap time from Monday but remained slowest of the 10 cars that tested, more than a second off Castroneves' pace.
“We're behind right now, but I think we've shown that we're not that far off, especially when you consider that it's only our second real test in the HVM car,” she said. “Every time we go out, we're improving. We had a couple of issues yesterday, and we're trying to clean the bugs out. The first two or three races will be difficult for us, but we're pretty reliable right now, and I think that's the important thing.”
The open test continues Wednesday with sessions for Firestone Indy Lights while the IZOD IndyCar Series holds its media day at St. Petersburg, Fla. IndyCar returns to the track Thursday with a different set of teams, including Chip Ganassi Racing's four Honda-powered entries and KV Racing Technology's Chevy-powered cars. It's the final open test before the IndyCar season opener March 25 at St. Pete.
Tuesday's times:
Pos Driver Team/Car/Engine Time Gap

1. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevrolet 52.1413
2. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevrolet 52.2059s + 0.0646s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevrolet 52.2072s + 0.0659s
4. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 52.3466s + 0.2053s
5. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt DW12-Honda 52.4698s + 0.3285s
6. Justin Wilson Coyne DW12-Honda 52.6537s + 0.5124s
7. James Jakes Coyne DW12-Honda 52.8288s + 0.6875s
8. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 52.9577s + 0.8164s
9. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 53.0319s + 0.8906s
10. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus 53.2312s + 1.0899s

Combined times:
Pos Driver Team/Car/Engine Time Gap

1. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevrolet 52.1413
2. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevrolet 52.2059s + 0.0646s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevrolet 52.2072s + 0.0659s
4. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 52.3466s + 0.2053s
5. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt DW12-Honda 52.4698s + 0.3285s
6. Justin Wilson Coyne DW12-Honda 52.6537s + 0.5124s
7. James Jakes Coyne DW12-Honda 52.8288s + 0.6875s
8. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 52.9125s + 0.7712s
9. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 52.9577s + 0.8164s
10. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus 53.2312s + 1.0899s
 
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